Kara Richardson Whitely thought she could do anything. After all, she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro-three times! But now she’s off the mountain and back home again, and there’s one thing she just can’t manage to do-lose weight.
In many ways, Kara is living the life of everywoman, except that she’s not everywoman because she weighs 300 pounds. Her weight is a constant source of conflict and shame, as the people from every corner of her life-from her daughter’s pediatrician to her mother in law-judge Kara for the size of her body.
In The Weight of Being, Kara shares the most intimate aspects of life as she experiences it as a fat woman, looking deep into the ways her body influences her marriage, her sex life, her children, her career, and her friendships. The stories she tells hit all kinds of nerves. Some are shocking, like the time she was shot with a BB gun by a neighbor’s son who used her backside for target practice. Others are heartbreaking-when her pediatrician suggests that her daughter’s weight isn’t healthy, the mortification Kara feels is viscerally painful.
Kara’s story is one of living as a fat woman in America, where fat prejudice is rampant, despite our nation’s pandemic of obesity. In this fresh, raw memoir, Kara reveals this epic contradiction, reminding us all that fat lives are deserving of esteem, dignity, and respect.